Underground Data Center Trend Is Starting to Gain Steam
The need for data centers has been growing for a number of years, and this need is continuing today. However, there are many data center operators who are looking for a new way to create facilities. Rather than buying and retrofitting a building that’s above ground, many are starting to look at some of the benefits that could come from heading underground. With an underground building for the data center, it will still be possible to create quality multitenant data centers.
Below the Earth
Going underground is one of a few still relatively new data center trends, of course. There are many who are content to take structures that already exist or to build new structures, aboveground. Heading below the earth does have a lot of benefits to it, though.
It was only a few years ago that Iron Mountain started to build their underground facility in Pennsylvania. The data center is located in what used to be a limestone mine. The data center itself is 220 feet underground, and it features 1.7 million square feet of space. This is a large and secure structure that can support up to 10 megawatts of critical power. It provides carrier connections and acts as a powerful, technologically advanced data center.
Despite being underground, the company has the ability to create exactly the type of facility they want. They can provide prebuilt client space. They can create custom data center options for their clients, and they can offer a range of services. By offering both space and services, and by going underground, it has helped them to stand out.
What Makes Underground Facilities a Great Idea?
There are actually a few reasons that underground data centers are gaining in popularity. One of the biggest of those reasons is security, naturally. When there are fewer entrances and exits, and when the building is surrounded by the earth, there are fewer places that are at risk of a physical intrusion. Combine the fact that it is underground with security guards, cameras, and biometric scanners, and it helps to make it a very secure location.
Another one of the reasons that it might be a good idea to consider building underground data centers is because of the cost. Even though the company will have to find an old mine, as in the case of Iron Mountain, or they will have to pay for the construction costs, it is still often easier than finding a location of similar size above ground in an area that will work well. It will physically look more secure, as well. This can act as a psychological advantage for those companies with clients that need to have the best security possible.
In addition to safety from thieves, there is also the fact that an underground facility tends to be less at risk for many types of natural disasters. There are other advantages, as well. For example, because they are underground, they will have a lower ambient temperature and the advantage of geothermic cooling. Essentially, this means the facility will stay cooler naturally, which can cut down on the amount of energy used to keep the servers at an optimal temperature. This provides more efficient use of power.
Those who are looking for a data center that is truly as safe as possible will want to consider the benefits of going underground. Of course, this doesn’t mean that all of the data centers of the future are going to be heading underground. It’s just an option that can be considered.